RSN™ Special Report: Scammers Using Children
Scammers Now Using Children As “Money” Mules
Met Police warn fraudsters are targeting child ‘money mulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit.’
First published in July 2017, Updated September 2018
Children are being targeted by criminals to act as money mules, police have warned.
The scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. involves transferring stolen money through children’s bank accounts to hide it from the authorities.
According to The Times, the Met Police wrote to parents warning that pupils were being approached outside school gates and on social media.
Det Chief Inspector Gary Miles said the Met wanted to “make parents aware so they can discuss this with their children”.
In a statement, he added: “Children are getting accounts at a younger and younger age – 13-year-olds now have access to money that they didn’t have before.”
‘Wads of cash’
According to the fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. prevention service Cifas, the number of so-called “misuse of facility“ frauds involving people under 21 has almost doubled in the last year.
It said there were 4,222 cases in the first half of 2017, compared to 2,143 in the same period last year.
Cifas’ assistant director Sandra Peaston told the BBC: “Some of them are as young as 13 or 14, and essentially they’re responding to adverts that they see on social media, on video sharing sites, which are offering money in exchange for moving money through their bank account.
“So they’re being induced in by images of people waving wads of cash at them.”
Cifas has previously reported that young people are increasingly tempted by fraudsters who offer a small cash fee in return for transferring money through their bank accounts.
Allowing a bank account to be used in this way carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison and could affect credit ratings, police said.
A force spokesman said: “The Met would always remind people not to allow anyone access to their bank accounts and that requests for money transfers should be declined unless you are certain you know where and from whom it has come.”
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local PoliceLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first. – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. (www.IC3.gov)
- The ScarsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Worldwide Reporting Network HERE or on www.Anyscam.com
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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To learn more about SCARS visit www.AgainstScams.org
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